State plans $250M payment to settle unemployment loans

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By: Jon Zimney

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — State officials are planning to use about $250 million from Indiana’s surplus to finish repaying federal loans that were taken out to make unemployment payments during the recession.

Department of Workforce Development officials told the State Budget Committee on Friday that paying off the loan by Nov. 10 will eliminate a $126-per-employee penalty that businesses would be charged for 2016. That is a projected $327 million.

Officials expect to transfer money from the state unemployment fund next spring to restore the withdrawal from the state’s $2 billion in cash reserves.

Gov. Mike Pence has the final say on the action, but Republican and Democratic legislators on the budget committee supported the plan.

Businesses pay taxes into the unemployment fund, which has already repaid much of $2 billion in federal loans.